I’m in a stasis of crisis.
I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t write. I can barely even think. Wait, no, that’s a lie. I can think. But none of it really makes much sense.
You see…I am infected with an alien.
Okay, okay, so I know that technically the minuscule thing currently growing legs and arms and tiny little organs isn’t actually an alien but that hasn’t much stopped me from feeling a bit like Sigourney Weaver’s crew mates aboard the Nostromo.
With every turn of the stomach, every feeling of bottoming out, every stomach free-falling lurch as I attempt—multiple times a day—to keep my food where it belongs…I feel as though this tiny little life-form is going to burst forth from within me. Perhaps not quite from my chest, but near enough for it to be relatable.
Hubby, in his delightfully sympathetic way, keeps telling me to “suck it up”. “It was your choice,” he reminds me smugly as I complain yet again at the loss of any functionality in my life, while he enjoys a JD and coke and a full dinner.
One particularly miserable afternoon, after which I’d spent two days unable to keep a single dry cracker or water safely in my turbulent tummy, I honestly thought I was going to eject the little alien straight into the toilet bowl. Like a pilot force ejecting from a crash landing. Good bye food, hello emergency room. Ten hours of waiting and by the time I crawled into bed, miserable and exhausted, I still had one more up-chuck in me before I managed some sleep.
My body has become a treacherous landscape of nope. Within mere weeks the alien has taken command and turned all my senses traitor. My memories of food are full of pot holes and landslides and precarious roads that lead to a rather strong gag reflex unlike anything I’ve so far experienced.
Despite that one week of terror in which we were assured that miscarriage is a perfectly natural part of getting pregnant and “I’m sorry but there’s nothing we can do this early on, but here’s a very large letter to the emergency department just in case”, the whole experience has thus far made me wonder why anyone does this at all?
People keep asking me if I’m excited. So far the only flutter of excitement has come on the two instances of seeing the little fruit sized alien on a grainy grey screen; and that one day when I opened a surprise gift of halloween onesies for babies (yet another unsuspecting soul unable to escape my grasp to dress up in absurd little costumes).
Hubby, after I rebelliously ordered a chocolate milkshake after weeks of avoiding dairy, has a few times questioned my eating habits. “Should you really be eating that?”
Probably not. There’s a lot of probably nots. Somedays are good. Some days are great. Some days I smell the food and it’s absolutely delicious and then the taste hits my tongue and the food wiggles down and settles just upon this tiny growing bump and suddenly…suddenly I feel as though I’m on a boat and in very great need of a bush.
I tell hubby to fuck off. Then I sulk and demand a cuddle, which he obligingly (smugly) gives. In all fairness, he’s been pretty tolerant of the tired, moody, bitchy grouch that’s replaced his wife.
Where’s the glow? Where’s the soft skin and the silky hair and the excitement and happiness and…oh alright, where’s the sex? Women with perfect skin, perfect hair, smooth moods and lustrous libidos. They’re a myth, I tell you! A hoax. I defy anyone to find me one of these creatures and bring her to me immediately and tell me what am I doing wrong?
I feel disassociated.
Before all this happened, my cousin used to gloat over my inability to enjoy 3D ultrasound pictures and under one-year-old photos of potato babies. “It’ll be different when it’s you,” she’d say knowingly, smiling all smug-like as if she had any idea more than me what it would be like to be pregnant.
I’m sorry, but babies just don’t look like anything, until they become more human. Which, for your information, isn’t until they’ve been out and about and kicking for at least couple of months.
Always, always people tell me I’ll feel differently about my own baby.
The first time I saw one of those creepy, cloudy, orange, alien-like 3D images of my own gut I thought I was going to throw up. It might’ve been the seasickness. Or the tonne of water I’d been forced to consume and squash into my rather incompetent bladder; but I’m pretty sure it was the sheer panic at seeing that thing wriggling about inside me.
I’m sorry, but I can’t help the bubble of “oh my god” that expands in my chest at the thought of it. I can’t control that tight bit of fear that makes my vision creep black and makes me hope to pass out. It’s instinct. It’s panic. It’s…too much imagination and too many horror movies. It’s just who I am.
Is that so wrong?
I’ve read about depression for young mother’s. Disassociation from your own child. The inability to bond. But…I don’t think that’s what my problem is.
At least…I hope it’s not. From my limited experience with my own dogs, I know I have no problem bonding to young, vulnerable creatures. A baby isn’t any different, right?
Occasionally, when we talk about things like names, I get a tiny flutter of something deep inside, and I think “there it is!”. So maybe I am okay with this. Maybe it will be okay. Maybe it is going to be normal.
But then I shift, the flutter passes and I wonder if maybe it was just indigestion.
Mostly I’m just not thinking about it.
Will I make a good mother?
Did we make the right decision?
Maybe I should’ve just been a dog person?
What if we don’t finish the renovations in time?
Am I allowed to sleep on my stomach?
God, I hate sleeping on my stomach but damn if it’s not the only way I can avoid the urge to puke, and anyway, it’s not like I’m gonna squash the seasick little pirate alien am I?
What if I do something wrong? What if I lift something too heavy? What if I eat the wrong food? What if I suck at being a mother? What if I neglect the dogs? What if I spend too much time with the dogs and Junior hates me and what if, what if, whatifwhatifwhatif?
Exhausting. Time for another ice-block.
I’m sure it’ll become real. I’m sure my little alien will grow a little larger, start pushing at the boundaries of my body—manipulating me into a shape more suitable to itself—and then, with the evidence straining away at me, I’ll start to come to terms with this decision I so ached for before it became a reality.
Despite all this, if I could go back in time and change it, I wouldn’t.
So I’ve been a little seasick. I’ll get over it. But until I do, I just wish that people would stop expecting me to be anything but seasick. So I’m not excited, who cares? I will be. I know I will be. Because that’s also who I am. I’m not a “get excited months before hand” kind of gal.
I’m a full steam ahead, all engines a go, full-throttle, throw into the whirling dervish kind of excited and too be honest, that much excitement all the time would just be exhausting. For me, and everybody else. And I’m already exhausted enough, thanks very much. I’d much rather my usual approach of saving it all up and exploding it all out at once in a giddy, stupid, messy rush. I like it that way.
So, until then, it’d be really great if me and my alien can just get a little less expectation and a little more “it’s okay to be a giant, moody, seasick slob.Yes it does look like an alien. Here, have another ice-block.”
Aliens like ice-blocks, or at least, my alien does.